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SubjectRe: Encrypted Swap

Hello Ted , Thank you for bring us back on topic . I found the
disertations on memory a tad enlightening . But I was very
interested in the original thread of encrypting swap .
Twyl , JimL

On Sat, 18 Aug 2001, Ted Unangst wrote:
> On Sat, 18 Aug 2001, Eric W. Biederman wrote:
> > So the attacker has two way to attack your machine. Attempt to break
> > in while it is still running. Put in a minimal boot cd and press
> > reset and see how much is recovered. Generally breaking should prove
> > the more fruitful course, but the fact that reset preseves all of the
> > memory, means it simply is not safe for someone to have physical
> > access to your machine while the power is on.
> if the machine is on, and you can get close to it, it's probably easier
> just to use tempest radiation. it will also work at a distance, so it's
> more likely to be a threat than grabbing RAM chips. a few points:
> 1. not everyone is going to bring their James Bond RAM Reader (tm) into
> your building to extract data. a hardcore data thief, maybe, but it's not
> common equipment. everyone will have access to an IDE or SCSI disk
> reader.
> 2. RAM has a short window of oppurtunity. whatever it turns out to be,
> RAM degrades faster than disk. it's not going to last while you drive it
> home, unless you have a RAM refresher plugged in the cigarette lighter.
> 3. encrypted swap is meant for a different threat model. you assume that
> the attacker might have access to the box at night or over a weekend,
> while you're away. RAM will be off. if you think someone might be trying
> to steal your RAM, you need better physical security.
| James W. Laferriere | System Techniques | Give me VMS |
| Network Engineer | P.O. Box 854 | Give me Linux |
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